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How often do you talk to your kids during extended visits with ex?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

My ex lives 16 hours away and DS (5yo) goes to visit him every other month for 8 days. Ex has repeatedly refused to let me talk to DS more than twice during that 8 day period. He only calls DS once a week so he expects that should be perfectly fine for me. Now he's wanting to add one Skype session per week, which I'm fine with, but I'm trying to use it as a negotiating tool to get 2 calls and a Skype per week when DS is away from home. All I really want is to just say a quick good night at the end of the day...not interrupt their day/action! DS is going to be spending 7 weeks (5 uninterrupted then 2 more after 20 days with us) with ex this summer and I really want to get this cleared up before that. I'm not trying to be controlling but I feel like DS isn't given freedom to talk to us when he wants. He even told me once on the phone that his dad said he couldn't talk to everybody when his step-dad and step brother wanted to talk to him! I am considering getting him a little kid's cell phone that only dials three numbers and put minutes on it so that he can call me if he wants. Then I'm afraid his dad would take it away!

 

Is 2 quick calls before bed or as soon as he gets up and a Skype session in the morning too much???

post #2 of 15

I don't think that sounds like too much.  My kids haven't gone to visit their dad for more than a very short visit in years and years but the one trip they did take when they were younger I had a brief good night call with them pretty much every night.

post #3 of 15

Your ex is being nasty.  If he only calls once a week, that's his issue - but your child is accustomed to being with you, his primary caregiver - so it's different.  I wouldn't necessarily ask to call every night, but certainly more than once a week.  That's ridiculous.   

 

Was this visitation arrangement forced on you?  If this guy won't let his child talk to his own mother, I think this is court-worthy.  Really.

post #4 of 15

Honestly, when ds was smaller he was able to call his father when ever he wanted.  Ds lived with me, his dad was with in a few miles but he could call when he wanted.  I guess I dont see the logic in controlling phone calls.  I'm guessing you would let your ds call his dad when he wanted to or any of the other family on 'that side'?

post #5 of 15

I'd be taking that back to mediation or court. I feel really strongly about kids being able to call and talk to the other parent anytime they want. Thankfully, right now, ex feels the same. DS (3 yrs) calls his dad every night at bedtime and sometimes he wants to talk to dad other times as well and his dad is thrilled to hear from him. When he's with his dad, he calls me every night. It's in our parenting plan that we allow our kids to call and talk to the other parent any time they want and that we won't interfere.

I think your ex is being ridiculous and controlling.

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks, mamas. There is nothing written in our agreement regarding phone calls so this is something he is forcing on me. When I have tried to call more than that he refuses to answer the phone and will text me the next day to tell me to stop calling and interfering with his parenting time. {sigh} I have always told him he has liberal phone access to DS, as does his mother if she chose to call DS...which she doesn't. I have offered to her before. I also proposed Skype a long time ago so that ex could "see" DS more often and he said that a webcam was not within his "budget". They cost $20! Now that he just got a nice new Macbook with a built in webcam (DS told me about the new computer) he is demanding a Skype session immediately (starting tomorrow) in addition to his one phone call a week but will not give me an additional phone call...will only agree to one call and one Skype per week for me. Oh, and he also is trying to demand that I have DS at home, with absolutely no distractions at 5pm every Tuesday when he calls. (!) DS talks to him every week...sometimes for five minutes and sometimes for twenty...depends on his mood. But ALWAYS, DH and I do our best efforts to keep DS engaged in the conversation with ex no matter what we are doing and where we are. That's the beauty of cell phones and I would never expect them to stop their daily routine so that I can talk to DS when he's away, which is why I call first thing in the morning.

 

DH and I both have very contentious exes and right now we are fighting tooth and nail to get the access to DSS that we should have. We don't have money for an attorney on either side. :O( But, I think that I need to look into getting the order changed somehow to spell out communication before the long summer visit.

 

Thanks for the input and thanks for listening!

post #7 of 15

I talk to my kids every day when they are gone. I bought them a kids cell phone and they just push one simple button that has my number preprogramed in it. My kids feel more secure about being away from home when they can touch base with me daily. At 5 years of age your son may not want to talk much on the phone but even a simple I love you and see you soon is a good way to keep in touch.

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

Avani- I am seriously thinking about getting him a kids cell phone to take with him on his visits because he states that he'd like to talk to me more. He definitely tells me when he's ready to get off the phone and I honor/respect that. I just want him to know I'm thinking of him and that he can talk to me when he wants, without having to ask his dad.

post #9 of 15

My girls (12, 14, 15) go EOW to their father. I don't usually hear from them during the weekend unless we're on FB at the same time. When they were younger they never were allowed to call me. They never asked to talk to him either.

 

My littles (2.5 and 4.5) call their father basically every night or he stops by for 10 minutes or so every day to say hi/goodnight/ask about their day. When they are with him EOW either they call me or I call them to say goodnight each night. His almost daily visits are a bit much for me but the kids enjoy it so I suck it up and deal with it.

post #10 of 15

My ex talks our girls a couple of times a week. I don't limit the time. They are 8 & 3, so it's usually 5 minutes for the younger one, and 15-20 minutes for the older one. When he has them (EOWeekend) I talk to them every day. He actually usually calls me (when the kids are there) so I can talk to them, which is nice.

post #11 of 15

I obviously am only answering this from a "what would I expect" situation.... and that is to talk to ds once a day. That may only be a quick "love you, see you on ______" if that's what ds wanted, but I would expect to be able to call him once a day.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avani View Post

I talk to my kids every day when they are gone. I bought them a kids cell phone and they just push one simple button that has my number preprogramed in it. My kids feel more secure about being away from home when they can touch base with me daily. At 5 years of age your son may not want to talk much on the phone but even a simple I love you and see you soon is a good way to keep in touch.


oh avani i am sooo happy to hear this. this is GREAT news.

 

and yeah its not about talking. its more about having access to mama whenever they want to. 

post #13 of 15

Even if my boys are only spending one night with their Dad I still call them after bath time. DS1 is 5yo and DS2 is 2yo. I call every night and if they don't feel like talking that's absolutely fine but I will still call every night. Like a PP said, even if it's just to say "I love you, have a good sleep, I'll see you soon".

 

I think it's really disturbing that your ex won't allow your DS to call you when he wants to. I would be really, really unhappy with that and I think a cell phone is the way to go. I do wonder though whether his Dad would just tell him he couldn't call you.

post #14 of 15

Liberal, reasonable phone access here (I'm a stepmom to a kid who's with us about 35% of the time here). We have occasional blips in the "reasonable" department (not from Mom--usually when SD wants to call as a stall tactic, or to "tattle" on us if we do something she sees as unfair), but generally, the not-there parent calls once a day or once every 2 days, and my SD can call whenever she wants (again, within reason--she can't force someone off the phone or stall at brushing her teeth or take her dad's cell phone under her pillow at night just because "my MOM said I can call whenever I want and you're not letting me").

post #15 of 15

well, it seems like a control issue. on both sides, perhaps. I hope your son doesn't sense that.

 

I can see both sides. If your ex has his child 8 days out of 60...than I understand him wanting undisturbed time with him. especially if your son is difficult/whiny after talking with you (you haven't indicated that, I don't think...so sorry if I am presuming too much) but as a mother, I can't see going 8 days without speaking to my child.

 

my ex has my kids half the time, alternating weekdays, even. but it works out that every other week, he has then almost 4 full days...during that time I don't call unless I have something to tell them or him. my daughter will talk to me excitedly, but my son, who is newly 5, isn't a phone guy ;) he will refuse to take my call. I KNOW he loves and adores me, if he gets on the phone he will laugh and joke with me. so I don't take it personal ;)

 

I would never INSIST on talking to them, and I can see how it would be intrusive to their flow in that household.

 

but we all get along pretty well. maybe its because we respect each others unhindered time with the kids....maybe its just because we get along that we can respect that. its the chicken and the egg. the issue is not the phone calls, but an underlying hostility, which is what you have indicated. I know you said your son stated he wanted to speak to you more, but the reasons he wants to may not be the best, in your ex's eyes. It may disturb his time, it may be a wedge that your (unknowingly) using against your ex. who knows. I really feel strongly that each has their parenting time, and that should be sacred.

 

if my kids WANTED to call their dad or me, of course they would be encouraged. on both ends. I suppose if your son initiated the desire and your ex wouldn't let him, that's upsetting. who knows. but if this is a situation that if this is 'legally' resolved, it will add to the resentment and hostility, it just wouldn't be worth it to me. also, it may just bring yet another control issue out if this one is supposedly 'resolved'. (not on your end, on your ex's)

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